Excavations from 2001 to 2003 at the prominent outcrop at Northwest Saqqara have provided new evidence of activities at the site prior to the New Kingdom. The work revealed an early Old Kingdom layered stone structure and its substructure. Although the structure resembles a tomb due to the presence of a stone portcullis sealing the subterranean chamber, the finds from the substructure consist of a number of votive objects comparable to early temple deposits from Abydos, Hierakonpolis, Elephantine, and Tell Ibrahim Awad. Because the votive objects mainly date to the Early Dynastic Period, it is assumed that this area was venerated since then. The original substructure appears to have been reused in the Middle Kingdom, when another chamber was cut to the west of the shaft. In an area approximately 20 m to the northeast of the substructure on the slope of the outcrop, a rock-cut chamber was probably hewn at the same time. In the front area of the layered stone structure, extensive ceramic refuse deposits were found, indicating a vital cult activity in the Middle Kingdom. Presumably, this area was again a desert sanctuary associated with a goddess from the Twelfth Dynasty to the beginning of the Thirteenth Dynasty.
|Number of pages||41|
|Journal||Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts - Abteilung Kairo|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
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